Feeds

Unpatched Mac OS X hole poses critical risk

Hackers go on Safari

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in Mac OS X that creates a means for hackers to compromise vulnerable systems. The critical security flaw is unpatched but workarounds have been issued.

The flaw stems from errors in the processing of metadata file association meta data in ZIP archives. By renamed "safe file" extensions stored in ZIP archives, hackers could trick users into executing malicious shell scripts. The security bug might also be used to attack Apple Safari browser users by creating a means for attackers to automatically run malign code when a Safari user visits a malicious-constructed website, an even more potent exploit scenario.

The vulnerability has been confirmed on a fully patched system with Safari 2.0.3 and Mac OS X 10.4.5. Early versions might also be affected. Security notification firm Secunia has published a test here. It advises users to protect themselves against exploit by disabling the "Open safe files after downloading" option in Safari. Mac users should also avoid opening files in Zip archives that originate from untrusted sources.

"This is yet another example of the continuing spread of malicious code onto other platforms," said Alfred Huger, senior director of engineering at Symantec Security Response. "While there is no known exploit at this time, users are encouraged to turn off the 'Open safe files after downloading option' in their Safari browsers and watch for further information from Apple."

Discovery of the vulnerability follows last week's discovery of two low-level worms targeting Mac OS X: Leap-A and Inqtana-A. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.